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Squash stars to resume training from today

After a sustained period of inactivity since the onset of the COVID pandemic in March last year, the courts at the Indian Squash Academy saw some high-intensity action.

Published: 03rd May 2021 09:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd May 2021 09:41 AM   |  A+A-

Indian squash star Joshna Chinappa

Indian squash star Joshna Chinappa (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: It was only a month ago that the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) successfully hosted a PSA Challenger Tour event in Chennai followed by a doubles camp attended by the top players for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

After a sustained period of inactivity since the onset of the COVID pandemic in March last year, the courts at the Indian Squash Academy saw some high-intensity action for the first time in many months, but the second wave of Covid has once again brought things to a halt.

"The academy was shut for the past one week due to the rising cases. We decided to do so on our own as a precautionary measure. Only the top players are allowed to train as per government guidelines. We will have a few of the Chennai-based national players resume training from Monday onwards," SRFI secretary general Cyrus Poncha said on Sunday.

For the next couple of months at least, most of the national players with the possible exception of the likes of Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa will be confined to just training at the courts and won't get any competitive action.

"There won’t be any tournament in the near future in India. We plan to start hosting domestic tournaments only in July at the earliest," Poncha informed.

Joshna Chinappa​ hopeful of Egypt trip

Ghosal, Joshna, Ramit Tandon and Vikram Malhotra, meanwhile, are slated to travel to Egypt for the El Gouna International Squash Open, which is scheduled to be held from May 20-28. Even though Egypt hasn’t placed a travel ban on India, the four of them are uncertain about their plans since many international airlines have suspended their operations from India.

With the players not needing to reach Egypt before May 18, Joshna is hoping that the situation improves in a couple of weeks.

"We need to reach Egypt only by May 18 since we can go straight into the tournament bubble. We don’t have any quarantine requirements. I normally travel by Emirates via Dubai, but Emirates has put its operations in India on hold. So, there is a lot of uncertainty right now," said the World No 11.



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